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. >> reporter: a mild afternoon in lynchburg, virginia and eben and holly alexander are at a high school soccer camp cheering on their son. they are a perfectly ordinary family with an extraordinary story. they have been touched by a medical miracle and maybe more. >> i mean, it was impossible after impossible after impossible. >> reporter: eben alexander, a harvard-trained neurosurgeon who was a skeptic when came to religion survived a near-death experience and he now carries the memory of what he says was a journey to heaven. a journey that all his scientific training cannot explain. on november 10th, 2008 eben awoke with a searing headache. when his wife holly checked in on him he was having a tremendous seizure. >> i said, say something. he didn't say anything so i called 911. >> reporter: eben was rushed to the hospital. >> the only word woe could truly make out was help and the rest of his verbalization was purely screaming. >> reporter: he had been stricken with an extremely rare and virulent e. coli meningitis infection that was raf rajjing his brain plunging him into a coma. >> i mean,
alexander almost died four years ago. now, he has his book, "proof of heaven." >> reporter: eben alexander is a healthy, 58-year-old harvard-trained neurosurgeon. an expert of science. did you go to heaven? >> yes. >> reporter: four years ago, alexander nearly died from a massive brain infection that plunged him into a coma and shut down nearly his entire mind. he was barely alive in this world. but he says he journeyed elsewhere. >> i was rescued by this beautiful, spinning white light that had a melody. indescribable beautiful melody, that opened up in a bright valley. >> reporter: he says god was there, and a vast presence of infinite love. he met a young woman, he says, his guide as they soared on a butterfly wing. and she gave him a message from heaven. >> you are loved. you are cherished. there's nothing you have to fear. there's nothing you can do wrong. >> reporter: a lot of people are going to say, doctor, it was a hallucination. >> i know this was not a hallucination. not a dream. not what we call a confabulation. i know that it really occurred. and i know it occurred outside of
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